Friday, February 14, 2014

Why Valentine's Day Isn't a Big Deal

'What Beautiful Is (February 6/8)' photo (c) 2010, emma.kate - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

When I was a teenager, Valentine's Day was all about a boyfriend. Or in my case not having one. Valentine's Day came with dreams of secret admirers or dreams of me getting enough courage to talk to 'that boy', whichever one it was that week.

Even then I remember hearing all kinds of messages that said, "Valentine's Day isn't just about romantic love. There's more to it than that." As a teen, I thought that was a load of crap. I want to say that as an adult I have learned how true those words are. But the truth is those words still ring hollow to me. I think of friends and acquaintances who thought they had that romantic love only to see it walk out on them. If I were to sit here and repeat those words, it would seem hypocritical. After all I have a wonderful husband asleep in our bedroom. I have an awesome kid and one more on the way. We found an unused restaurant gift card in the pocket of a coat, so we will be having a nice dinner out tomorrow. So who am I to sit here and say it isn't all about romantic love?

So rather than try to write some pep talk about how Valentine's Day means this, that, and the other. I'm going to share a few thoughts about Valentine's Day around our house. Valentine's Day isn't a big deal. We rarely exchange gifts and a large part of me doesn't want to exchange gifts. I really resent the spin that the marketing world places on today. People can love you and my husband can love me without flowers and chocolates and jewelry and lingerie and stuffed animals and balloons and cards and whatever else they say. But my own little protest against those companies is not why it isn't a big deal.

My son's birthday is a week from today. So inevitably the month of February is full of birthday party preparations because his birthday is more important than Valentine's Day. He still gets a little something, but we don't make a big deal out of it. And even though I tell my husband that all I want is for Ben to have a good party, society puts this pressure to do otherwise. And I think it is ridiculous!

He shows me in a thousand little ways everyday that he loves me. When he gets up on Saturday mornings to work and make a little more money for us. When he pats the sofa and wants me to come sit beside him. When he puts his arm around me in the middle of the night. When he cooks dinner for me every night. When he plays rough with our son, so I don't have to. And that's just a few things off the top of my head. I don't need a special day to remind me to love him or remind him to love me.

But today I did make him a card. We got Ben a little something and I made him a card. Drew will probably go out today and get us each a little something because the snow has kept us home for the last couple days. Tomorrow we will go out on a date and celebrate. Even though Valentine's Day isn't a big deal around our house, we do still love each other and don't mind showing it today.

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